DynamicOxygen.com - Enjoy High eCPM Rates!

Monday, May 2, 2011

TamilNadu Tourism

Hogenakal Waterfall on Kaveri river,Dharmapuri district
Tamil Nadu's tourism industry is the second largest in India, with an annual growth rate of 16%. Tourism in Tamil Nadu is promoted by Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation (TTDC), a Government of Tamil Nadu undertaking. The tagline adopted for promoting tourism in Tamil Nadu is Enchanting Tamil Nadu. Approximately 1,753,000 foreign and 50,647,000 domestic tourists visited the state in 2007.
Tamil Nadu is a land of varied beauty. It boasts some of the grandest Hindu temples of Dravidian architecture. These temples are of a distinct style renowned for their towering Gopurams. The Brihadishwara Temple in Thanjavur, built by the Cholas, the Airavateswara temple in Darasuram and the Shore Temple, along with the collection of other monuments in Mahabalipuram also called as Mamallaburam have been declared as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The largest Shiva Temple in Tamil Nadu is Nellaiappar Temple situated in the heart of Tirunelveli city. Madurai is home to one of the grandest Hindu temples in the World — Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple. Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, Srirangam is the largest functioning temple in the world, Tiruchirappalli where the famous Rockfort Temple temple is located,Rameshwaram whose temple walk-ways (Praagarams) are the longest of all Indian temples, Kanchipuram and Palani are important pilgrimage sites for Hindus. Other popular temples in Tamil Nadu include those in Gangaikonda Cholapuram, Chidambaram, Thiruvannaamalai, Tiruttani, Swamithoppe, Tiruchendur and Tiruvallur.

Botanical Gardens, Ooty
Tamil Nadu is also home to beautiful hill stations. Popular among them are Udhagamandalam (Ooty), Kodaikanal, Yercaud,Coonoor, Topslip, Valparai, Yelagiri and Manjolai. The Nilgiri hills, Palani hills, Shevaroy hills, Kolli Hills and Cardamom hills are all abodes of thick forests and wildlife.

Thiruvalluvar statue in Kanyakumari, southern tip of India
Mukurthi National Park & Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve are the two tiger reserves in the state. Tamil Nadu has many National Parks, Biosphere Reserves, Wildlife Sanctuaries, Elephant and Bird Sanctuaries, Reserved Forests, Zoos and Crocodile farms. Prominent among them are Mudumalai National Park, The Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve, Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park, Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary and Arignar Anna Zoological Park. The mangrove forests atPichavaram are also eco-tourism spots of importance.
Kanyakumari, the southern most tip of peninsular India, is famous for its beautiful sunrise, Vivekananda Rock Memorial andThiruvalluvar's statue built off the coastline. Marina Beach in Chennai is one of the longest beaches in the world. The stretch of beaches from Chennai to Mahabalipuram are home to many resorts, theme parks and eateries. The prominent waterfalls in the state are Courtallam, Hogenakal, Papanasam, Manimuthar, Thirparappu, Pykara and Silver Cascade. The Chettinad region of the state is renowned for its Palatial houses and cuisine. With medical care in Chennai, Vellore, Coimbatore and Madurai, Tamil Nadu has the largest numbers in Medical tourism in India.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Culture of TamilNadu

Kolam - a Traditional culture ofHindus in Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu has a long tradition of venerable culture. Tamil Nadu is known for its rich tradition of literature, music and dance which continue to flourish today. Unique cultural features like Bharatanatyam (dance), Tanjore painting, and Tamil architecture were developed and continue to be practised in Tamil Nadu.

Language and literature

Tamil is the only official language of Tamil Nadu. English is also in common usage as an official language of India. When India adopted national standards Tamil was the very first language to be recognized as a classical language of India. The Tamil people regard their language a very important part of their cultural identity.
Most early Tamil literary works are in verse form, with prose not becoming more common until later periods. Throughout its history, Tamil literature has sought to inform and inspire, educate and entertain.
எப்பொருள் யார்யார்வாய்க் கேட்பினும் அப்பொருள்
மெய்ப்பொருள் காண்ப தறிவு - (திருக்குறள் - 423)
'The mark of wisdom is to discern the truth
From whatever source it is heard.'
– (Tirukkural – 423)
Tamil poetry has universal appeal as evidenced by many examples. Tirukkural, which was written nearly two millennia ago portrays a universal outlook. This is evident as the author, Tiruvalluvar, does not mention his religion, land, or the audience for his work. He is often portrayed as a holy saint of Tamil Nadu today. Ancient Tamil literature is predominantly secular and deals with everyday life in the Tamil Context.
The first Tamil printing press was established at Tarangambadi by the Danish missionaries. During the Indian freedom struggle, many Tamil poets and writers sought to provoke national spirit, social equity and secularist thoughts among the common man, notably Subramanya Bharathy and Bharathidasan. Even today, Tamil Nadu is home to creative writers like Vairamuthu, Jayakanthan,and Indira Parthasarathy.


Meenakshi Amman Temple complex inMadurai, one of the grandest Hindu temples in India
Population by religion, 2001
Religious groupPopulation (million) %
Total 62.4100
About 88% of the population identifies as Hindu and Tamil Nadu is the home of the core schools of medieval and modern Hinduism as well as several non-mainstream Hindu movements. These include Advaita Vedanta, Ramanuja's Vishishtadvaita,Alvars' Sri Vaishnavism, and Nayanmars Shaivism. Several important Hindu Tamil figures became important figures for Hinduism as a whole (e.g.Ramanuja.) In modern times, well known figures for Hinduism in the state include Ramana Maharishi and the Kanchi Paramacharya. Murugan, Thirumal (Vishnu), Sivan, Sakthi in various forms and a large number of village deities are also worshiped by Hindus in Tamil Nadu. The emblem of Government of Tamil Nadu depicts the Gopuram (Entrance Arch) of the temple at Srivilliputhur.

Basilica of Our Lady of Good Healthat Velankanni, a Christian pilgrimage centre

Erwadi dargah in Ramanathapuram District, a major pilgrimage center of Muslims in Tamil Nadu.
Christians and Muslims together form over 11% of the population. Christians are mainly concentrated in the southern districts of Kanyakumari (44% of the population, 2001), Thoothukudi (17%, 2001) and Tirunelveli (11%,2001). St. Thomas Mount in Chennai, the place where St. Thomas, one of the disciples of Jesus, was believed to have been martyred, is an important pilgrimage site for Indian Christians. TheSanthome Basilica, supposedly built atop the tomb of St. Thomas, and the Vailankanni Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health — revered churches by India's Roman Catholics — are good examples of majestic church architectures in Tamil Nadu. The Church of South India and the Pentecostal Mission Church are headquartered in Chennai.
Muslims are mainly concentrated in areas such as Adirampattinam, Kayalpatnam, Kilakarai, Pernambut, Ambur, Vaniyambadi,Madurai, Nagore, and Melapalayam, with the state capital Chennai also home to a number of Muslims. Among Muslims, 97.5% are Sunni and the rest are Shias. The Sunnis adhere to either Hanafi or Shafi schools of thought. Erwadi in Ramanathapuram district and Nagore in Nagapattinam district are important pilgrimage site for Muslims, while the Thousand Lights Mosque in Chennai is one of the largest mosques in the country. Kazimar Big Mosque in Kazimar Street, Madurai and Karpudaiyar masjid in Kayalpatnam are the oldest mosques in Tamil Nadu.
There was a popular atheist movement in the 1940s that has lost support since.


A bull tamed by a Tamil youth atAlanganallur, Madurai

Thungapuram Ayyanar car festival
Pongal, also called as Tamizhar Thirunaal (festival of Tamils) or Makara Sankranti elsewhere in India, a four-day harvest festival is one of the most widely celebrated festivals throughout Tamil Nadu. The Tamil language saying Thai Pirandhal Vazhi Pirakkum — literally meaning, the birth of the month of Thai will pave way for new opportunities — is often quoted with reference to this festival. The first day, Bhogi Pongal, is celebrated by throwing away and destroying old clothes and materials by setting them on fire to mark the end of the old and emergence of the new. The second day, Surya Pongal, is the main day which falls on the first day of the tenth Tamil month Thai (14 January or 15 January in western calendar). The third day, Maattu Pongal, is meant to offer thanks to the cattle, as they provide milk and are used to plough the lands. Jallikattu, a bull taming contest, marks the main event of this day. During this final day, Kaanum Pongal — the word "kaanum", means 'to view' in Tamil.
The first month in the Tamil calendar is Chitterai and the first day of this month in mid-April is celebrated as Tamil New Year. Thiruvalluvar Calendar is 31 years ahead of Gregorian Calendar, that is 2000 CE in Gregorian calendar is represented as 2031 in Thiruvalluvar Calendar. Aadi Perukku is celebrated on the 18th day of the Tamil month Aadi, which celebrates the rising of the water level in the river Cauvery. Apart from these major festivals, in every village and town of Tamil Nadu, the inhabitants celebrate festivals for the local gods once a year and the time varies from place to place. Most of these festivals are related to the goddess Maariyamman, the mother goddess of rain.
Additional major Hindu festivals including Deepavali (Death of Narakasura), Ayudha Poojai, Saraswathi Poojai (Dasara), KrishnaJayanthi and Vinayaka Chathurthi are celebrated. Ayya Vaikunda Avataram, is celebrated predominantly in the southern districts. In addition, Christmas, Eid ul-Fitr, Easter and Bakrid are celebrated by Christians and Muslims in the state.


Nadhaswaram and Thavil players
The Kings of ancient Thamizhagam created sangams for Iyal Isai Nadagam (Literature, Music and Drama). Music played a major role in sangams. Music in Tamil Nadu had different forms. In villages where farming was the primary occupation, ladies who work in the fields used to sing kulavai songs. Odhuvars, Sthanikars or Kattalaiyars offer short musical programmes in the temples by singing the devotional Thevaram songs. In sharp contrast with the restrained and intellectual nature of Carnatic music, Tamil folk music tends to be much more exuberant. Popular forms of Tamil folk music include the Villuppāṭṭu, a form of music performed with a bow, and the Nāṭṭuppur̲appāṭṭu, ballads that convey folklore and folk history. Some of the leading Tamil folk artists in the early 21st century are Pushpuvanam Kuppuswamy, Dr. Vijayalakshmi Navaneethakrishnan, Chinnaponnu, Paravai muniammal etc.
Carnatic music is the classical music form of Southern India. This is one of the world's oldest & richest musical traditions. The Trinity of Carnatic music Tyagaraja,Muthuswami Dikshitar and Syama Sastri were from Tamil Nadu. Thyagarajar Aaradhanai (worship) takes place every year in the month of Marghazhi in Thiruvaiyaru all carnatic musicians render their obesiance to Saint Thyagarajar by singing his compositions. The composers belonging to the Tamil Trinity, namely Muthu Thandavar (?1560 – ?1640 CE), Arunachala Kavi (1712–1779) and Marimutthu Pillai (1717–1787) composed hundreds of devotional songs in Tamil and helped in the evolution of Carnatic music. Today, Tamil Nadu has hundreds of notable carnatic singers and instrumentalists who spread this music all over the world. Chennai hosts a large cultural event, the annual Madras Music Season during December–January, which includes performances by hundreds of artists all over the city.
In terms of modern cine-music, Ilaiyaraaja was the most prominent composer of film music in Tamil cinema during the late 1970s and 1980s. His work highlighted Tamil folk lyricism and introduced broader Western musical sensibilities to the South Indian musical mainstream. Tamil Nadu is also the home of the double Oscar Winner A.R. Rahman who has composed film music in Tamil, Telugu, Hindi films, English and Chinese films, was once referred to by Time magazine as "The Mozart of Madras".

Arts and dance

A Bharatanatyam dancer
Tamils have a large number of folk dances. These are performed for every possible occasion, to celebrate the arrival of seasons, birth of a child, weddings and festivals. Tamil dance is closely intertwined with the Tamil theatrical tradition. The most celebrated of these is karakattam. In its religious form, the dance is performed in front of an image of the goddess Mariamman. The dancer bears on his or her head a brass pot filled with uncooked rice, decorated with flowers and surrounded by a bamboo frame, and tumbles and leaps to the rhythm of a song without spilling a grain. Karakattam is usually performed to a special type of song known as temmanguppāṭṭu or thevar pāṭṭu, a folk song in the mode of a lover speaking to his beloved, to the accompaniment of a nadaswaram and melam. Other Tamil folk dances include mayilāṭṭam, where the dancers tie a string of peacock feathers around their waist; ōyilāttam, danced in a circle while waving small pieces of cloth of various colours; poikkal kuthiraiyaaṭṭam, where the dancers use dummy horses; manattam, where the dancers imitate the graceful leaping of deer; paraiyāṭṭam, a dance to the sound of rhythmical drumbeats, and thīppandāṭṭam, a dance involving playing with burning wooden torches.
Bharatanatyam is a classical dance form originating from Tamil Nadu. Bharatanatyam is thought to have been created by Bharata Muni, a Hindu sage, who wrote theNatya Shastra, the most important ancient treatise on classical Indian dance. In ancient times it was performed in Hindu temples by Devadasis. In this form, it as also been called sadir or chinna melam. Many of the ancient sculptures in Hindu temples are based on Bharata Natyam dance postures. Bharatanatyam is a traditional dance-form known for its grace, purity, tenderness, and sculpturesque poses. It continues to be a popular dance style at present times and is practised by male and female dancers all over India. Terukkuttu or Kattaikkuttu is a traditional form of Tamil street theatre folk dance/drama.

Film industry

Tamil Nadu is also home to the Tamil film industry (sometimes called as Kollywood). It is known for being the second largest film industry in terms of revenue and worldwide distribution, in India. It is based at Kodambakkam in Chennai.


Chettinad cuisine, typically served on a banana leaf
Tamil cuisine is basically South Indian cuisine, where Rice and rice-derived dishes form the major portion of a diet (see Rice and curry). There are regional sub-varieties namely Chettinadu, Kongunadu, Madurai, Tirunelveli varieties etc. Traditionally, food is served on a banana leaf instead of a plate and eaten with the right hand. Rice is the staple food of Tamils and is typically eaten mixed with Sambhar (with or without Ghee), vegetarian or non-vegetarian Kulambu, Rasam, Curd and Buttermilk. This is accompanied with various vegetarian and/or non-vegetarian dishes like Kootu, Aviyal, Poriyal, Appalam, Varuval, Peratal, Kothsu, varieties of Pickles and Chicken / Mutton / Fish fry. Breakfast and snack items include Dosai, Adai, Idly, Vadai, Pongal, Appam(Aappam), Paniyaram, Puttu(Pittu), Uppumavu(Uppuma), Santhakai(Noodles), Idiyappam and Uthappam. These items are eaten along with Sambar, varieties of Chatni and Podi . Traditionally prepared Filter Coffee is unique in taste and popular all over the state. The Chettinad region is famous for its spicy non-vegetarian cuisine, while Ambur, Dindigal and Sankarankoil are known for theirBiriyani. Sweet items that are native to Tamil Nadu and prepared at homes are Athirasam, Chakkarai Pongal (prepared during Pongal) and Kuli Paniyaram. Tirunelveli is known for its unique wheat Halwa and Palani is renowned for its Panchamirtham. In the recent past, North Indian, Western, Chinese and fast food culture are also witnessing a steady growth in Tamil Nadu.


Gross State Domestic Product in Indian Rupee ₹ Crores and Current Prices
YearGSDPChangeShare of India
Green Arrow Up.svg 19.32%
Green Arrow Up.svg 7.49%
Green Arrow Up.svg 29.96%
Red Arrow Down.svg 7.18%
Green Arrow Up.svg 32.47%
Green Arrow Up.svg 7.40%
Green Arrow Up.svg 19.36%
Red Arrow Down.svg 7.33%
Green Arrow Up.svg 09.92%
Red Arrow Down.svg 6.85%
Green Arrow Up.svg 21.81%
Red Arrow Down.svg 6.61%
Tamil Nadu's gross state domestic product for 2007 is estimated at 275,000 crores (70 billion USD) in current prices. The state experienced a GDP growth rate of 12.1% for this period. It was the third largest economy (2007–2008) among all states in India, and also the most industrialised state in India. It ranks third in foreign direct investment (FDI) approvals (cumulative 1991–2002) of Indian Rupee ₹ 225,826 million ($5,000 million), next only to Maharashtra and Delhi constituting 9.12% of the total FDI in the country. The per capita income in 2007–2008 for the state was Indian Rupee ₹ 43,000 ranking second among the South Indian states and steadily been above the national average.
According to the 2001 Census, Tamil Nadu has the highest level of urbanisation (43.86%) in India, accounting for 6% of India’s total population and 9.6% of the urban population. and is the most urbanized state in India. Services contributes to 45% of the economic activity in the state, followed by manufacturing at 34% and agriculture at 21%. Government is the major investor in the state with 51% of total investments, followed by private Indian investors at 29.9% and foreign private investors at 14.9%. Tamil Nadu has a network of about 113 industrial parks and estates offering developed plots with supporting infrastructure.
According to the publications of the Tamil Nadu government the Gross State Domestic Product at Current Prices (Base year 1999–2000) for the year 2008–2009 is Indian Rupee ₹ 339,212 crores. The percapita income at current price is Indian Rupee ₹ 51, 097.


Tamil Nadu has historically been an agricultural state and is a leading producer of agricultural products in India. In 2008, Tamil Nadu was India's fifth biggest producer of Rice. The total cultivated area in the State was 56.10 million hectares in 2007–08. The Cauvery delta region of the composite Thanjavur district is known as the Rice Bowl of South India. In terms of production, Tamil Nadu accounts for 10% in fruits and 6% in vegetables, in India. Annual food grains production in the year 2007–08 was 100.35 lakh mt. Mango and Banana are the leading fruit crops in Tamil Nadu accounting for over 87% of the total fruit production. The main vegetables grown are tapioca, tomato, onion, brinjal and drumstick. Tamil Nadu is also a leading state in the production of flowers with the total production of horticultural crops standing at Indian Rupee ₹99.47 Lakhs during 2003–04. The main flowers grown in Tamil Nadu are Jasmine, Mullai, Chrysanthemum, Marigold and Rose.

Paddy fields at Nagercoil
The state is the largest producer of bananas, flowers, tapioca, the second largest producer of mango, natural rubber,coconut,groundnut and the third largest producer of coffee, sapota,Tea and Sugarcane. Tamil Nadu's sugarcane yield per hectare is the highest in India. The state has 17,000 hectares of land under oil palm cultivation, the second highest in India. Tamil Nadu is the home to Dr M.S. Swaminathan, known as the "father of the Green Revolution" in India. Tamil Nadu Agricultural University with its seven colleges and thirty two research stations spread over the entire state contributes to evolving new crop varieties and technologies and disseminating through various extension agencies. Among states in India, Tamil Nadu is one of the leaders in livestock, poultry and fisheries production. Tamil Nadu had the second largest number of poultry amongst all the states and accounted for 17.7% of the total poultry population in India. In 2003–2004, Tamil Nadu had produced 37,836 lakhs of eggs, which was the second highest in India representing 9.37% of the total egg production in the country. With the third longest coastline in India, Tamil Nadu represented 27.54% of the total value of fish and fishery products exported by India in 2006.

Textile, automobile and heavy industries

Textile mills and engineering industries are present around the city of Coimbatore. It is home to textile, automotive spare sparts and motor pump manufacturing units. Cities of Tirupur and Erode are the country's largest exporters of knitwear. They are well known for textile manufacturing industries and exports to such extent that the districts of Coimbatore, Tirupur and Erode are referred to as 'Textile Valley of India'.

Hyundai's manufacturing plant at Irungattukottai near Sriperumbudur

Bharat Heavy Electricals LimitedatTiruchirapalli(Trichy)
Tamil Nadu is one of the highly industrialised states in India. Over 11.2% of the S&P CNX 500 conglomerates have corporate offices in Tamil Nadu. Many heavy engineering and manufacturing companies are located in and around the suburbs of Chennai and Tiruchirappalli. Tamil Nadu has seen major investments in the automobile industry over many decades manufacturing cars, railway coaches, battle-tanks, tractors, motorcycles, automobile spare parts and accessories, tyres and heavy vehicles. Major global automobile companies including BMW, Ford, Renault-Nissan, Caterpillar, Hyundai, Mitsubishi Motors and Michelin as well as local automobile majors likeAshok Leyland, Hindustan Motors, TVS Motors, Irizar-TVS, Royal Enfield, MRF, Apollo Tyres, TAFE Tractors and DaimlerChrysler AG have manufacturing operations in Tamil Nadu. Karur is a hub for bus body building industries.
The region around Coimbatore, Tirupur, Karur and Erode is referred to as the "Textile Valley of India" with the export turnover from the Tirupur in 2004 at Indian Rupee ₹ 50,000 million ($1,000 million). 56% of India's total knitwear exports come from Tirupur. Karur generates around (35,500 million) $750 million a year in foreign exchange. Arani andKanchipuram are famous for their handloom and silk weaving industries.Sivakasi is a major centre of fireworks and safety match production and offset printing in India.
Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited, one of India's largest electrical equipment manufacturing company, has manufacturing plants at Tiruchirapalli and Ranipet. India's leading steel producer, SAIL has a steel plant in Salem. Sterlite Industries has their copper smelter plant in Tuticorin and aluminium plant in Mettur. The state government owns the Tamil Nadu Newsprint and Papers Ltd. (TNPL), the world's biggest bagasse based Paper mills in Karur, as well as the world's sixth largest manufacturer of watches together with TATA at Hosur, under the brand name of "Titan".

Electronics and software

Infosys' campus at Mahindra World Citynear Chennai
Electronics manufacturing is a growing industry in Tamil Nadu, with many telecommunications giants like Nokia, Flextronics, Motorola, Sony-Ericsson, Foxconn,Samsung, Cisco, Moser Baer and Dell having chosen Chennai as their South Asian manufacturing hub. Products manufactured include circuit boards and cellular phone handsets.
Tamil Nadu is the second largest software exporter by value in India, second only to Karnataka. Software exports from Tamil Nadu grew from Indian Rupee ₹ 76 billion ($1.6 billion) in 2003–04 to Indian Rupee ₹ 207 billion {$5 billion} by 2006–07 according to NASSCOM  and to Indian Rupee ₹ 366 billion in 2008–09 which shows 29% growth in software exports according toSTPI. Major national and global IT Companies such as Infosys, Wipro, HCL, Tata Consultancy Services, Mahindra Satyam, Verizon, Hewlett-Packard, Amazon.com,Paypal, IBM, Accenture, Ramco Systems, Computer Sciences Corporation, Cognizant Technology solutions, Tech Mahindra, Polaris, Aricent, MphasiS, MindTree,Symantec and many others have offices in Tamil Nadu.

Leather industry

The state accounts for 70 per cent of leather tanning capacity in India and 38 per cent of leather footwear and components. The exports from Tamil Nadu are valued at about US $ 762 million, which accounts for 42 per cent of Indian leather exports. Hundreds of leather and tannery industries are located around Vellore and its nearby towns such as Ranipet, Ambur and Vaniyambadi. The Vellore district is the top exporter of finished leather goods in the country. Vellore leather accounts for more than37% of the country's Export of Leather and Leather related products such as finished leathers, shoes, garments, gloves and so on. The tanning industry in India has a total installed capacity of 225 million pieces of hide and skins of which Tamil Nadu alone contributes to an inspiring 70%. Leather industry occupies a pride of place in the industrial map of Tamil Nadu. Tamil Nadu enjoys a leading position with 40% share in India 's export. It currently employs about 2.5 million persons Leather exports by the end of the year 2000-2001 were Rs. 9000 crores.


Pamban road (left) and rail (right) bridges, connecting the Indian mainland with thePamban Island. The rail bridge was opened to traffic in 1914, and was considered an engineering marvel in its time
Tamil Nadu has a transportation system that connects all parts of the state. Tamil Nadu is served by an extensive road network, providing links between urban centers, agricultural market-places and rural areas. There are 24 national highways in the state, covering a total distance of 2,002 km (1,244 mi). The state is also a terminus for the Golden Quadrilateral project. The state has a total road length of 167,000 km (103,769 mi), of which 60,628 km (37,672 mi) are maintained by Highways Department. This is nearly 2.5 times higher than the density of all-India road network.
Tamil Nadu has a well-developed rail network as part of Southern Railway. Headquartered at Chennai, the Southern Railway network extends over a large area of India's Southern Peninsula, covering the states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Puducherry, a small portion of Karnataka and a small portion of Andhra Pradesh. Tamil Nadu has a total railway track length of 5,952 km (3,698 mi) and there are 532 railway stations in the state. The system connects it with most major cities in India. Main rail junctions in the state include Chennai, Coimbatore, Madurai, Tiruchirapalli (Trichy) and Salem. Chennai has a well-established suburban railway network and is in the process of developing a metro.
Tamil Nadu has a major international airport, Chennai International Airport, that is connected with 19 countries with more than 169 direct flights every week. This is the third largest airport in India after Mumbai and Delhi and has a passenger growth of 18%. Other international airports present in the state are Tiruchirapalli International Airport, Coimbatore International Airport. The Madurai Airport, Salem Airport and Tuticorin Airport are domestic airports which connect their respective cities to other parts of the country. Increased industrial activity has given rise to an increase in passenger traffic as well as freight movement which has been growing at over 18 per cent per year.

MRTS Train station in Chennai
Tamil Nadu has three major seaports at Chennai, Ennore and Tuticorin, as well as one intermediate port, at Nagapattinam (Seven other minor ports including Cuddaloreand Nagapattinam).Chennai Port is an artificial harbour situated on the Coromandel Coast in South-East India and it is the second principal port in the country for handling containers. Ennore Port handles all the coal and ore traffic in Tamil Nadu. The volume of cargo in the ports grew by 13 per cent during 2005.
As of 2005, Tamil Nadu is one of the few Indian states with surplus Electricity generation capacity, enabling the electrical authority to sell it to neighbouring states of Andra Pradesh & Karnataka. The Kalpakkam Nuclear Power Plant, Ennore Thermal Plant, Neyveli Lignite Power Plant, many hydroelectric plants including Mettur and the Narimanam Natural Gas Plants are major sources of Tamil Nadu's electricity. It is presently adding the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant to its energy grid, which on completion would be the largest atomic power plant in the country, in terms of capacity. The total installed capacity for electricity in the State is 8,249 MW. The installed capacity of State Sector is 5,288 MW, and that of Private Sector is 1,058 MW. Apart from this, 1,903 MW is available as share from Central Sector.
Tamil Nadu sources a significant proportion of its power needs from renewable sources with wind power installed capacity at over 3600 MW or over 40% of the maximum peak demand. Tamil Nadu ranks first nationwide in diesel-based thermal electricity generation with a national market share of over 34%. 55% of all wind-generated electricity in India is created by windmills in Tamil Nadu. Renowned Danish wind power company NEG Micon has established its manufacturing unit in Chennai.


A Bengal tiger in the Kanyakumari Wildlife Sanctuary
Tamil Nadu includes a wide range of Biomes, extending east from the South Western Ghats montane rain forests in the Western Ghats through the South Deccan Plateau dry deciduous forests and Deccan thorn scrub forests to tropical dry broadleaf forests and then to the beaches, estuaries, salt marshes, mangroves, and coral reefs of theBay of Bengal.
The state has a range of flora and fauna with many species and habitats. To protect this diversity of wildlife there are Protected areas of Tamil Nadu, including twoBiosphere Reserves, five National Parks and several Wildlife Sanctuaries.
There are about 2000 species of wildlife that are native to Tamil Nadu. Protected areas provide safe habitat for large mammals including Elephants, Tigers, Leopard, Wild dog, Sloth bears, Gaurs, Lion-tailed macaques, Nilgiri Langurs, Nilgiri Tahrs, Grizzled Giant Squirrels and Sambar deer, resident and migratory birds such as Cormorants,Darters, Herons, Egrets, Open-billed Storks, Spoonbills and White Ibis[disambiguation needed]es, Little Grebes, Indian Moorhen, Black-winged Stilts, a few migratory Ducksand occasionally Grey Pelicans, marine species such as the Dugongs, Turtles, Dolphins and Balanoglossus and a wide variety of fish and insects.
The Angiosperm diversity of India includes 17,672 species. Tamil Nadu ranks 1st among all states in the Country, with 5640 species, 1/3 of the total flora of India. This includes 1559 species of medicinal plants, 533 endemic species, 260 species of wild relatives of cultivated plants and 230 red-listed species. The Gymnosperm diversity of the country is 64 species of which Tamil Nadu has four indigenous species and about 60 introduced species. The Pteridophytes diversity of India includes 1022 species of which Tamil Nadu has about 184 species. Vast numbers of bryophytes, Likens, Fungi, Algae and Bacteria are among the wild plant diversity of Tamil Nadu.
Common plant species include the state tree: Palmyra Palm, Eucalyptus, Rubber, Cinchona, Clumping Bamboos (Bambusa Arundinacea), Common teak, Anogeissus latifolia, Indian Laurel , Grewia, and blooming trees like Indian labumusum, Ardisia, and Solanaceae. Rare and unique plant life includes Combretum ovalifolium, Ebony(Diospyros nilagrica), Habenaria rariflora (Orchid), Alsophila, Impatiens elegans, Ranunculus reniformis, and Royal fern.
There are at least 85 widely diversified environmental organizations involved with environmental conservation and environmental education in Tamil Nadu. These organizations are notable for the diversity of their members and their intended impact groups, ranging from urban to rural, local to national, elementary students to government policy makers and rich to poor. The intent of these organizations is increased awareness of environmentalism by the state's population.
The Ministry of Environment and Forests through its Department of Environment and the Tamil Nadu Forest Department is the primary Government organization planning and implementing environmental policy in the state. The Tamil Nadu State Council for Science and Technology coordinates government scientific agencies and creates environmental awareness programs in the state,There are several prominent leaders worth public roles in these efforts. There are environmental NGOs working in the state who are characterized by funding from private sources, programs of environmental activism and a high degree of autonomy and volunteerism.
Schools, colleges and universities in the state have academic courses in environmental education and Environmental studies and non-academic clubs and student activities involved with environmentalism. Public and private mass media sources in the state play a role in increasing public awareness of environmental issues. The Hindu Newspaper and wildlife photographers and conservation writers are especially influential. There are several independent environmental consultants in the state, experienced in a wide range of environmental technical specialization.


Kari Motor Speedway in Coimbatore
The Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu (SDAT) is the government body that is vested with the responsibility of developing sports and related infrastructure in the state. The SDAT owns and operates world class stadiums and organizes sporting events. It also accommodates sporting events, both at domestic and international level, organized by other sports associations at its venues. It has national racing tracks like Irungattukottai Race Track in Sriperumpudur near Kanchipuramdistrict, where national level Bike and Car races were conducted. The YMCA College of Physical Education at Nandanam in Chennai was established in 1920 and was the first college for physical education in Asia.
Cricket is the most popular sport and Kabaddi, also known locally as Sadugudu, is the state game of Tamil Nadu. M. A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai is an international cricketing arena with a capacity of 50,000 and houses the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association. Cricketers from Tamil Nadu who have represented the national team either in ODI or Test or Both are
  • Krishnamachari Srikkanth
  • Srinivasaraghavan Venkataraghavan
  • Dinesh Karthik
  • Robin Singh
  • Murali Vijay
  • Murali Karthik
  • Ravichandran Ashwin
  • Laxman Sivaramakrishnan
  • Subramaniam Badrinath
  • Hemang Badani
  • Sadagoppan Ramesh
  • Lakshmipathy Balaji
  • Sridharan Sriram
  • V. B. Chandrasekhar
  • T. A. Sekhar
  • Bharath Reddy
  • W. V. Raman
Cricket contests between local clubs, franchises and teams are also popular across the state. Chennai is also one of the ten Indian cities to be featured in the nation level Twenty-20 Cricket competition, the Indian Premier League. The team, owned by the cement manufacturers, India Cements, is called Chennai Super Kings.  The MRF Pace Foundation in Chennai is a much sought after fast bowling academy by pace bowlers all over the world. The state game of Kabaddi, and Silambam, are sports played in the rural areas.
The ATP Chennai Open tournament held in Chennai every January is the biggest Tennis event in South Asia. Tennis players from Tamil Nadu who had made it to the big stage include
  • Ramanathan Krishnan,
  • Ramesh Krishnan,
  • Vijay Amritraj,
  • Anand Amritraj,
  • Mahesh Bhupathi and
  • Prakash Amritraj.
Tamil Nadu has a long standing motorsports culture. The sport was pioneered by Sundaram Karivardhan in its early days. Notable sportspersons from Tamil Nadu in the field are Narain Karthikeyan, the first Indian to participate in F1 racing, and Karun Chandhok. Motor racing events are held at the Irungattukottai track (near Sriperumbudur), Sholavaram track and Kari Motorspeedway near Coimbatore.

Viswanathan Anand, the world chess champion
The Tamil Nadu Hockey Association is the governing body of Hockey in the state. Vasudevan Baskaran was the captain of the Indian team that won gold medal in 1980 Olympics at Moscow. The Mayor Radhakrishnan Stadium in Chennai hosts international hockey events and is regarded by the International Hockey Federation as one of the best in the world for its infrastructure.Chennai hosted the SAF Games in 1995. Anju Bobby George, a world renowned athlete, represents Tamil Nadu in the national arena.
The Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai is a multipurpose stadium hosting Football and Track & Field events. The Indian Triathlon Federation and the Volleyball Federation of India are headquartered in Chennai. Chennai hosted India’s first ever International Beach Volleyball Championship in 2008.
Chess and Carrom are popular indoor sports. World Chess champion and Indian Grand Master Viswanathan Anand and Arjuna Awardee and two-time world carrom champion Maria Irudayam hail from Tamil Nadu. Tamil Nadu boasts of total of 8 Grand Masters and numerous International Masters. Snooker was invented by General Sir Frederick Roberts at the Ooty Club in Udhagamandalam.
The SDAT – TNSRA Squash Academy in Chennai, one of the very few modern squash facilities in South Asia, hosts international squash events.
Tamil Nadu has six 18-hole Golf courses, the most popular of which are the Kodaikanal Golf Club, established in 1895, and Gymkhana Club, Chennai. The Madras Boat Club, set up in 1867, hosts regular rowing races on the Adyar River. The 232-year-old Guindy race course in Chennai is a horse racing venue. Adventure sports have gained popularity, especially amongst the tourists visiting the state.